Our Foundational Call:
"Our Lord Jesus Christ, suffering in the persons of a multitude of sick and infirm of every kind,
seeks relief at your hands." —Bishop Claude Dubuis, 1866
We, the Congregation of the Sisters of Charity of the Incarnate Word, Houston, Texas are women religious serving within the Church as signs of God's presence in our world.
Entrusted as we are with the mission of embodying the love of the Incarnate Word, we bear in mind that, whatever the form of our ministry, it is by means of our own lives that we witness most convincingly to the presence of Jesus Christ.We share our gifts in ministries of prayer, healing and education.
Based in Houston, Texas, we directly serve those in need in El Salvador, Guatemala, Ireland, Kenya and the United States.
The Congregational Leader is assisted by four Council Members. Their responsibility is to help the Congregation live out its mission.
Villa de Matel
Villa de Matel is the Congregation’s Motherhouse. Located in Houston, Texas, it serves as our home, place of worship and retreat, and a central gathering place.
Formation in our Congregation is a lifetime process. It is guided by the belief that when God calls a woman to dedicate herself to apostolic consecrated life, she is being inspired to develop an intimate relationship with Jesus, the Incarnate Word.
Affiliate - This is the first step. It is a time for more dialogue and discernment; a time for becoming familiar with our story and mission.
Pre-Novice - During this time you enter into a more formal relationship with the Congregation. You will live and participate in community for at least one year.
Novice - (2 years) This is a time in which you begin to live as a Sister of Charity of the Incarnate Word. It is a time to focus on solitude, quiet, prayer and the vows; learning more about the history of Consecrated Life; becoming familiar with the lives of the Founders; and studying the spirit, charism and mission of the Congregation. During a portion of this time, you will participate in ministry.
Annual Profession - (5 years) Upon completion of the Novitiate, you profess vows of chastity, poverty and obedience. These vows are renewed on an annual basis for at least 5 years. During this stage of initial formation you continue to integrate prayer, congregational life and ministry as a CCVI.
Perpetual Profession - This is the time you proclaim your commitment and vow chastity, poverty and obedience to live as a Sister of Charity of the Incarnate Word for the rest of your life.
Continuing Formation - Throughout her life, a Sister of Charity of the Incarnate Word seeks to deepen her relationship with Jesus, the Incarnate Word. She continues her spiritual, personal and professional development towards the fullness of her person.
CCVI: The acronym for the Latin phrase, "Congregatio Caritatis Verbi Incarnati," which means "Congregation of Charity of the Incarnate Word." It refers to the Sisters who comprise the Congregation of the Sisters of Charity of the Incarnate Word, Houston, Texas.
Affiliate: The first stage of the process of becoming a Sister.
Annual Vows: The last stage of initial formation during which a Sister professes the vows of chastity, poverty and obedience on an annual basis.
Apostolate: The ministry or work of a Sister.
Associates: Dedicated lay women and men who, attracted by the charism and mission of the Congregation, meet regularly to share faith, friendship and commitment to their baptismal call to holiness.
Assembly: A gathering of the Sisters to share and reflect around congregational issues.
Chapter: The Chapter members elect the General Leadership and set the direction of the Congregation for the next four years.
Charism: It is the spirit of presence, a gift that is sensed in a group in ministry in the church.
Cloistered: Religious women who engage in ministry of prayer and solitude. They do not perform a public, apostolic ministry.
Congregational Leader: The Congregation's leader, formally known as General Superior.
Convent: The official residences of the Sisters.
General Council: Comprised of four Sisters elected to 4-year terms as advisors to the Congregational Leader.
Incarnate Word: God becoming human in Jesus Christ.
Initial Formation: The stages of the process of becoming a Sister.
IUSG (International Union of Superiors General): An international organization comprised of General Superiors of congregations of women religious throughout the world.
Ministry: The works or service a Congregation performs in the Church. Through these works the Congregation carries out the mission.
Mission: It is making Jesus known and loved in the world.
Novice: Formal stage of entering and preparing to live as a Sister.
Nuns: Religious women who take solemn vows and are usually cloistered.
Pre-Novice: The second stage of the process of becoming a Sister.
Sisters: Religious women who take simple vows and work in apostolic ministries. All of CCVI's are Sisters.